To make carbon dioxide can become a fuel, the study's author, Larry Curtiss and his colleagues began to search for catalyst connection, which can increase the chemical activity of carbon dioxide.
To convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into sugars, plants use organic catalysts — enzymes; the researchers used diselenide of tungsten in the form of nanoscale flakes that maximizes surface area and increases its chemical activity.
Plants use their catalysts for the production of sugar, but researchers from the Argonne national laboratory has achieved the conversion of carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide (carbon monoxide gas) is a poison, it is also a greenhouse gas, but is much more reactive than carbon dioxide. There are ways to convert the carbon monoxide into compounds which can serve as fuel, e.g. methanol.
In addition to the use of methanol as alternatives to gasoline there exists a technology of creating on its basis a coal slurry, common in the United States under the commercial name "metekol" (methacoal). Such fuel is offered as an alternative to fuel oil, which is used for heating of buildings (heating oil). This suspension, unlike Vodopianova fuel, does not require special boilers and more energy-intensive. From an environmental point of view, this fuel has a smaller "carbon footprint" than traditional synthetic fuel produced from coal using processes where coal is burned during the production of liquid fuels.
Although developed by us researchers reaction to convert carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide is different from what is found in nature, it requires the same basic conditions, and photosynthesis. The research group managed to create an "artificial leaf", which can happen all the way the reaction from CO2 to CO.
We burn a lot of different types of hydrocarbons — coal, oil or petrol — development of a cost-effective way to make chemical fuel "reusable" with the help of sunlight can have a big impact on the situation, says Peter Fill, another author of the work.The study showed that the demonstrated reaction occurs with minimal energy loss. The catalyst diselenide tungsten, also proved to be relatively durable, it works more than 100 hours — high result for this type of catalysts. published